[Federal Register: August 8, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 153)]
[Page 51743-51745]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 51743]]


Part VI

Department of Education


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Notice

[[Page 51744]]



National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for Alternative Financing 
Program Technical Assistance (AFPTA) under title III of the Assistive 
Technology Act of 1998 (AT Act), which is administered by the National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The 
Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal 
year (FY) 2002 and later years. We take this action to focus attention 
on an identified national need. We intend this priority to provide 
information and technical assistance to States and outlying areas 
participating or interested in participating in the AFP.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before September 9, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna 
Nangle, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3412, 
Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2645. If you prefer to send your 
comments through the Internet, use the following address: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 205-
5880 or via the Internet: donna.nangle@ed.gov. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the TDD 
number at (202) 205-4475.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 


Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of 
reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed 
priority. Please let us know of any further opportunities we should 
take to reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while 
preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this priority in room 3412, Switzer Building, 330 C 
Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule 
an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 

Alternative Financing Program Technical Assistance Program (AFPTA)

    Title III of the AT Act established an Alternative Financing 
Program (AFP), which pays part of the cost for the States and outlying 
areas to establish or maintain alternative financing projects to 
increase access to assistive technology (AT) for individuals with 
disabilities. The purpose of the AFPTA is to provide information and 
technical assistance to States and outlying areas participating in the 
AFP. Public or private agencies and organizations, including 
institutions of higher education, are the entities eligible for an 
AFPTA grant award.
    This priority reflects issues discussed in the New Freedom 
Initiative (NFI) and NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (the Plan). The NFI can be 
accessed on the Internet at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/freedominitiative/freedominiative.html. The Plan can be accessed on the 
Internet at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/NIDRR/Products.
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority after considering 
responses to this notice and other information available to the 
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing or funding 
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this proposed priority, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting 
applications, we designate the priority as absolute, competitive 
preference, or invitational. The effect of each priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by either 
(1) awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent to 
which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or 
(2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an 
application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational 
priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the 
priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications 
(34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).



    We are particularly interested in applications that propose ways to 
collect, analyze, compile and report data provided by the AFP projects.
    You may obtain additional information about the background of this 
priority by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

Statutory Priority

    As required by section 306(a) of the AT Act, the AFPTA project 
    (a) Provide assistance to States preparing applications for the 
    (b) Assist States to develop and implement the AFP; and
    (c) Provide any other information and TA the Assistant Secretary 
determines to be appropriate to assist States to achieve the objectives 
of AFP.

Proposed Priority

    In addition to the statutory priority, NIDRR is particularly 
interested in having the AFPTA collect, analyze, compile, and report 
data provided by the AFP projects. AFP projects currently report data 
using an instrument that was developed and implemented to assist the 
State grantees with their data collection obligations. NIDRR will 
provide this instrument to the grantee upon receipt of award. The AFPTA 
    (1) Collect data from the AFP projects and assist the projects in 
this effort;
    (2) Propose strategies for reviewing the AFP data collection 
instrument to determine what modifications should be made to improve 
its usability, reliability and validity and suggest strategies to 
facilitate and expedite the collection of

[[Page 51745]]

uniform annual data from the AFP projects;
    (3) Provide technical assistance to the State grantees on the data 
collection instrument that will support and improve the data collection 
efforts of the States;
    (4) Provide technical assistance and training to State grantees on 
data collection strategies that will improve the quality of the data 
collected; and
    (5) Through the technical assistance activities conducted under 
this priority, the project shall prepare a report on the activities 
funded under this Title. The report shall include the following: (a) 
the type of alternative financing mechanisms used by each State and the 
community-based organization with which each State entered into a 
contract, under the program; and (b) the amount of assistance given to 
consumers through the program who shall be classified by age, type of 
disability, type of assistive technology device or assistive technology 
service financed through the program, geographic distribution within 
the State, gender, and whether the consumers are part of an 
underrepresented population or rural population and, includes an 
executive summary, description of data collection procedures utilized 
and an analysis of the aggregated States' data including a discussion 
of trends.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may review this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO access at: http://

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.224C, Alternative 
Financing Program.)

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 3056.

    Dated: August 5, 2002.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and, Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 02-20065 Filed 8-7-02; 8:45 am]